This is why I’m anxious about marriage.
It has nothing to do with me not loving Dani enough. Dani is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Every day that I spend with this person is a blessing. Even today, I called Dani with such an intimate joy as I was filled with this pure excitement in realizing that I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. I am chasing after this one for life. But leading up to marriage is bittersweet.
I have never been a great team player.
It is not because I do not like other people and it is not arrogance because I do not see their value in the context of a team. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It is because I doubt my value to them in the context of the team. I do not want to let them down, so sometimes I just do not even try. The voice of inner-insecurity questions my value before I can even try. I still wrestle with this voice in friendships, my career, my family, and those that try and get closest to me. I hide and shy myself because the voice warns that I will just let you down.
In no context was this more prevalent than in baseball.
I remember when I was younger, peewee sports were my worst enemy. Soccer and basketball were fine because I was athletic enough to just run around and never be “open” for someone to pass me the ball, hiding behind the other team, and avoiding at all costs that pivotal moment when people relied on me to score or miss to affect the entire team. I liked basketball because everyone misses free throws. You play me in ping pong and you’ll surely lose because that is only on me. But baseball is still a scar on my childhood. There is no avoiding nine people in the field staring at you, your best friends in the dugout, your coach signaling on third, and your parents behind to see if you’ll strikeout. The pressure is real. I just wanted to be put out in left field and wait for my snow cone.
There is a meaningful lesson here.
I am scared of marriage in the same way that I am scared of baseball.
My wedding day is approaching and I realize it.
I have never cherished something as much as I do Dani Austin. With that feeling comes a deep responsibility that I feel. The decisions that I make are not just impacting me anymore. All of my strengths and weaknesses are now vulnerable and visible to this other human. More so, any self-destructive circumstances I have are now going to affect another. If I do not clean the dishes, I subject her to a mess and if my company goes bust, it is not just me that is affected. If my hair turns gray (probably not, great hair genes), she has to stand by my side. My strikeouts and grand slams affect our team now. But this time it is not my childhood friends with bazooka bubble gum staring at me from the dugout disappointed. It is a hopeful, loving beauty that presently thinks I’m a champion.
The most important moments of your life often give you two choices: fight or flight.
I think we all have our own inner-voice. And I think your inner voice bullies you like mine. We listen to this voice and we quit before we even finishing lacing up our Nikes. This is the great tragedy. The plan that God has for you, to bless and prosper you, to utilize your unique talents for His glory is abandoned before began. The blog you never started, the song you never wrote, the promotion you never sought, or the love you never chased because of a lie you believed that you could not. If it does not mildly scare you and feel wholly undeserved then it is probably not a blessing at all. The blessings that come from God are both because they reflect the grace that he extends, not our own merit. But we have to have the courage to play.
My wedding is on May 12th.
My coach on third will be replaced with a pastor. The dugout will remain with our best friends. My parents and their friends will still be in the stands. Instead of nine staring in anticipation, there will be more. My bride will stare back at me. I will step up to the plate and I will choose fight over flight because the risk is worth it. I want to encourage whoever is reading to marry someone that you have to gather the courage to step up to the plate for. Marry someone that makes you question God because you do not understand how such a blessing could come to you.
The day of our wedding will be when the questions cease. It will remain a reminder that He is good and is worth the courage. He made us a team. He brought us to the plate. Sometimes I will hit a home run and she will smile. When I strikeout, she will still give me a butt pat when I come back into the dugout with the grace and hope for my next at bat. The game is life and there will be many innings we play together.
My wedding is on May 12 and I will take my first swing.
And when the game is over we will enjoy our snow cones together.
Jordan Joseph Ramirez